Facebook announced Tuesday that it will be introducing a handful of privacy changes to their 750 million users. AllthingsD reports that the new privacy features will go into effect on August 25, initially to only one percent of all Facebook users.
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Skype, which Microsoft bought in May, said Monday it will buy the group messaging service GroupMe. GroupMe, created last year at the Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon, went for a rumored $85 million, according to AllthingsD. For now, GroupMe will remain a standalone application, according to the company, but expect changes.
In anticipation of the fall release of iCloud, Apple this week set icloud.com live for developers. iCloud represents a revamped version of Apple's existing Mail, Contacts, and Calendar, and integrates the document sharing features of iWork.com.
Google has removed third party review sites from Google Places. Previously, Places pulled reviews from Yelp, TripAdvisor, Urban Spoon and CitySearch, as well as their own Google Places reviews. When the service initially launched about a year ago, these third party sites griped that their content was unfairly being used by Google, and that the Places reviews were appearing above their content.
Isis, a mobile payment provider established by AT&A, T-Mobile and Verizon in 2010, announced a deal with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express Tuesday. Isis offers mobile payment options based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows users to "swipe" their phones in front of a scanner to make a payment.
In a move to secure fraying market share against their bourgeoning competitors, RIM and Microsoft are partnering. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise keynote earlier Tuesday at the Blackberry World expo in Orlando, Fla. Microsoft will integrate its Bing search and map application at the device operating system level, he said. "We're going to invest uniquely into the BlackBerry platform."
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) is unveiling a suite of features and phones in hopes it will reenergize the company's direction. RIM has received mixed responses on its PlayBook tablet release, and has been steadily losing market share as iPhone and Android-based phones grow in popularity.
Square, a mobile credit card processing startup, received an undisclosed strategic investment from Visa, the world's largest credit card company. The investment is strategic because Square probably doesn't need the cash. The company was started in 2009 by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and recently closed a $27.5 million round of funding at a $240 million valuation.
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